As I look over the queue of reviews (a benefit of being an RPG.net member) I note three more reviews of Don't Rest Your Head waiting to come out, bringing the total up to five for Horror Week. Five extremely positive reviews, spread throughout the week, each of which will receive more attention than a standard review thanks to the event. That's something that any publisher would love to see, thanks to all of the attention it brings to a given product. Even folk otherwise disinclined might take a look at DRYH after noticing so many very positive reviews back to back. I find the response Fred Hicks has received so unusual that I wanted to take a moment and comment on why I think he has received it.
Why did Don't Rest Your Head receive so many more reviews?
Reason 1: Fred offered free review copies to anyone who would write a review.
My Thoughts: This is the first step to getting a bunch of relatively inexpensive attention for a product. If folk can gain something just by participating (a free PDF of the game) then they're more likely to write that review, or to review your game instead of someone else's. However, other companies offered comped products for reviewers so it has to be more than this.
Reason 2: Don't Rest Your Head receives occasional attention at RPG.net
My Thoughts: I think this is another core reason, but it incorporates the fact that Spirit of the Century receives a lot of attention. Folk, naturally, check out other games made by the company they like. DRYH, while not a well known game, does receive occasional threads and discussion in the TRO forum which likely made folk more interested in checking it out.
Reason 3: The Cult of Fred.
My Thoughts: I jest, but only a little. Fred maintains a very positive online persona at RPG.net that, in my view, encourages folk to discuss and review projects he's involved in. He always thanks reviewers in a positive way, he participates in threads involving his games in a completely non-confrontational manner, and he stops by the site on occasion just to be a user.
What do you think? Does this sound right? Am I overlooking something?
For anyone interested, Fred wrote an excellent guide to being a friendly promoter of projects.